Facebook vs Google: Which is the best for your business?

The Endless Debate between which platform is better: Facebook Ads or Google Ads

The number one repeated question: “Which platform is better for me, Google Ads or Facebook Ads?”. Our clients have asked this question so much it should be on our FAQ’s page. All jokes aside, the answer almost always is “it depends”.

Both platforms are excellent and yes one can be better than the other. However, it depends on your business, your audiences, your budget and what you aim to achieve. 

We at Born Intelligence understand that businesses often have limiting marketing budgets and deciding where to use their ad spend can be challenging. Let alone fully understanding the different platforms can be just as challenging. Therefore we have taken it upon ourselves to clarify the differences for you and help make the decision of which platform to use. 

Let’s dive into the big debate on Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.

Fundamental Difference between Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Wondering what the fundamental difference between the platform is? We will explain via a scenario. Picture this: 

You want to workout from home. The first thing you do is head on to Google to search for the perfect workout plan to follow. You found it – Yeah for you! But some exercises are completely foreign to you so you head to YouTube for a video tutorial on how to do it. Now you’re working out and feeling great about yourself so you share the news on social media platforms. You scroll through Facebook and BOOM you see an ad for the latest Workout Boosters and you immediately stock up on your workout essentials.

Most people go through a similar online journey when buying products whether it is actively searching or finding it on social platforms. That is the key fundamental difference between Facebook and Google Ads.

Facebook is coined as interruptive marketing because people will scroll through the posts of their friends and family and then an ad will pop up. The person wasn’t actively searching for your product but it grabs the person’s attention and immediately creates a desire to buy your product.

Google, on the other hand, is completely different. Google Ads are based on search-driven marketing as people search specifically for something. Google search works with keywords that give all the results that relate to the keyword. Therefore if you have a specific keyword that someone has searched for your ad will pop up. People searching on Google are already in the market to purchase and actively search for a product/service provider.

Basically, Facebook Ads is interruptive marketing and Google Ads are search-based marketing.

Our top tip for you is to determine where you want to position yourself. 

Before making a discussion here are a few things you have to consider:

1. Targeting

Effective targeting is the key to a successful campaign. Think about it, if you have a product, for example, a power tool kit and you advertise that to a targeted audience that includes women with babies you’ll most likely just waste your money. However, if you run an Ad campaign targeting specifically men in construction you’ll have a very high ROI.

Both platforms have various targeting aspects including locations, behaviours etc. Facebook has an information overload of user-generated data like personal interests, beliefs, ideologies, and values that can be used in selecting your campaigns targeted audience. Google, on the other hand, showcases ads based purely on keywords and behaviour.

This makes Facebook a wonderful choice for advertisers whose product or service is centred around a specific detail in someone’s life for example birthday or anniversary gifts. However, Google is still a platform that can be used with specific keywords.

2. What you are advertising

The product or service you provide to your customers should also be considered when choosing an online Ad Platform. Facebook and Google offer various ways in which your products are displayed. Facebook tends to be more interactive with videos, images and other creative formats. Facebook offers users the opportunity to interact with your business and ask questions or even share your posts. On the other hand, Google is more direct and guides you to buy exactly what you need without the noise of social media. Therefore if your ad campaign has viral potential like the ability to like, comment and share – this will only add to its reach.

3. Your industry

Ultimately, where you elect to allocate your budget may depend on the industry you’re in. With Facebook and Google, certain industries are more competitive than others and that influences the Ad costs. 

Furthermore, the industry you operate in can perform better on Facebook than on Google (and vice-versa). It is important to try out both platforms to see what works best for you and which platform brings your the best ROI.

4. The goal of your campaign

The ultimate goal of advertising is to attract buyers and keep them. However, not all ads go for sales. Like members of a team or business, each campaign plays a unique role in accomplishing the ultimate goal.

As a business owner, you will be familiar with the buyer’s journey or perhaps the sales funnel. In the first stage, you make people aware of the pain, problem or desire. In the second phase, you lead them to see the solution your business offers to fulfil that desire or numb their pain or take it away in its entirety. 

In the third stage, you get them to make a decision with you instead of your competition. The final stage is where the buyer takes action and invests in your offer.

For each stage in the buyer’s journey, there are different campaigns that can be used. Facebook is the best platform for the first 2 stages due to the ability to spread viral awareness that Google doesn’t match. However, Google beats Facebook hands down when it comes to drawing bottom-funnel traffic. This is closely linked to buyers ‘intent’ as they are actively searching. After all, that’s why a user navigates to a search engine in the first place. If they’re searching, they’re looking for an answer.

This illustrates why it’s important to combine the two platforms for ultimate results.

5. The numbers ($$$)

Now you’ve heard all the mobo jumbo but your main concern is the money. You want to know where your investment will give you the best results right? Well, let’s get down to business.

The old saying of you get what you pay for is so evident in Ad spend. The more you invest the more your ROI will be. However, we know not everyone can afford to spend thousands of rands and spending your ad spend on the right platform is vital.  

When creating your ad campaign it might sometimes appear that you are paying less on the one platform than the other for the same campaign. However, your conversion rate and efficiency might differ. See example below:

Say you have an 8% conversation rate on Facebook and a 3% conversion rate on Google. 

  • You are paying R8 per click on Facebook and each conversion cost you R100
  • You are paying R0.70 per click on Google and each conversion cost you R23.33


In the example above a 1000 clicks on Facebook at R8 per click will cost you R8,000 while 1000 clicks on Google at 70c will cost you R700. With a conversation rate of 8% on Facebook, you will have earned 80 conversations from those thousand clicks. On Google with a 3% conversation rate, you would have earned 30. 

This means you could have spent 10 times more on Google generating R300 conversions for R7000 and spend R1000 less than it cost to convert 80 people on Facebook. Therefore a higher conversion rate doesn’t always guarantee efficiency.

A final look

From everything above it is evident that there is no clear answer to which platform is the best. Both Facebook and Google Ads have their own features which makes them great marketing tools. It is also evident that using both Facebook and Google Ads is a potent combination. When you want to decide where to spend your budget let these considerations be a guide to get you started.

Want a professional view for your business and where to spend your money effectively? Get in touch with use today for a free consultation to get your business out there – the right way.



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